Highlights from the Board Room – August 24

Board Meeting   |  Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Presentations

Swearing in of new student trustee

Student trusteeAlexia Evans-Turnbull, a Grade 11 student from Huntsville High School, was elected by the G7 Student Senate to be a student trustee for Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) for the next two school years. She was sworn in as a trustee and signed a declaration of her intent to carry out the duties of a trustee. Turnbull will join Ryder Lytle as a second student trustee for the Board. Lytle was sworn in as a student trustee in August 2020.

Director’s update

Planning for the new school year

Director of Education Wes Hahn shared with trustees an update on planning for the return to school for staff and students. He stressed that proactive measures are taking place to update return to school plans with schools open for in-person teaching and learning. The school board will continue monitoring and collaborating with local public health units.

Many of the health and safety measures put in place in the previous school year will remain, including: 

  • All staff and Kindergarten to Grade 12 students will wear masks while inside buildings, masks will not be mandatory when outside.
  • Social distancing is still encouraged, both inside buildings and out of doors.
  • Cohorting will continue for elementary students, which means keeping students together in a unit inside the building, cohorting outside will be encouraged, but is not required.
  • Extracurricular activities will be permitted, including music and sports, both inside buildings and out of doors. Championships will be permitted.
  • Secondary schools will be following a quadmester model (two courses at a time) for the full first semester.
  • There will be some changes in the use of spaces – cafeterias, libraries, and staff rooms will be open.

The school board will be taking a cautionary approach to moving into spaces, allowing movement in the building, and inviting visitors to buildings. Hahn asked for patience in the month of September, as changes are slowly implemented.

There has been an emphasis by the Ministry of Education on COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccinations are encouraged by the Ministry of Education and public health for all staff and for students over the age of 12. While vaccinations are not mandatory, the ministry of education has released an immunization protocol which requires staff and any adult visitors entering the building to disclose their immunization status. Staff will require a medical exemption and regular testing or participate in a vaccination education program and get regular testing if they have not received COVID-19 vaccinations. School boards must report to the MInistry of Education on the numbers of staff who are vaccinated. Staff choosing not to be vaccinated must test for the virus on a regular basis. The vaccination protocol will apply to any adults entering TLDSB buildings. New COVID-19 case management protocols will be implemented. Teachers and students will not have to isolate if there is a case in the classroom and if they are not exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. 

In September, local health units will be offering vaccination clinics in most TLDSB secondary schools, during the day for high school students, and in the late afternoon and evening for families and the public. Hahn emphasised the importance of health and safety for everyone in TLDSB.

On September 3, the school board will be publishing a report on ventilation measures as required by the Ministry of Education. This will include data on upgraded filters, hepa filters, and air flow management in TLDSB buildings.

In the spring, families were asked to choose between in-person and at-home learning. The majority of students will be attending TLDSB schools in-person in September. As typically occurs each September, there will be a reorganization mid-month where there may be some opportunity for students to switch to a different learning environment. There will not be any other opportunity for changes to be made in the 2021-2022 school year, as it is disruptive to classrooms and staffing schedules. Currently of the approximately 16,000 TLDSB students, there are only approximately 327 elementary students and approximately 257 secondary students registered for at-home learning.

Superintendent of learning appointment

Director of Education Hahn formally welcomed Kim Williams as a new Superintendent of Learning. Williams, previously the Principal of Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School, has joined the senior administration team with responsibility for secondary curriculum. 

Welcoming new union presidents

Hahn also welcomed new local union presidents, Kellie Kirkpatrick the TLDSB president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, and Craig Horsley, the TLDSB president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF). Stefani Burosch is the new President representing OSSTF PSSP staff.

Administrative reports

Strategic Planning Committee

Superintendent of Learning Paul Goldring provided an update on the work taking place to develop a new multi-year strategic plan for the school board. The new plan will focus on supporting student achievement and well-being, staff learning and well-being, equity and inclusion, and will solicit a variety of input from stakeholders. A “Your Voice Matters” campaign will be used to offer opportunities for voices to be heard. The school board will be reaching out to stakeholders throughout the fall and will release the new strategic plan early in the new year.

2021 Board and Committee of the Whole meeting schedule

Meeting Date Time Location
Committee of the Whole September 7, 2021 6:30 p.m. MEC
Regular Board Meeting September 21, 2021 6:30 p.m. MEC 
Committee of the Whole October 12, 2021 6:30 p.m. MEC
Regular Board Meeting October 26, 2021 6:30 p.m. MEC or Virtual
Committee of the Whole November 9, 2021 6:30 p.m. TBD
Regular Board Meeting November 23, 2021 6:30 p.m. TBD
Organizational Meeting December 7, 2021 6:30 p.m. TBD
All Committee of the Whole and Regular Meetings of the Board are webcast and may be accessed through the TLDSB website www.tldsb.ca.

 

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